Reports: Florida will hire Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper to same position
After being a big part of Duke’s miracle 10-win season that led to an ACC championship game appearance and a berth in the Chick-fil-A bowl, offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Kurt Roper will apparently have to pull a few more tricks out of his bag. Multiple reports are indicating Roper will take the vacant Florida offensive coordinator position in hopes of reviving a Gators offense that was largely ineffective in the team’s disastrous 4-8 season.
Roper has extensive history in the SEC. He got his coaching start at Tennessee while serving as a graduate assistant from 1996-98 and then followed current Duke head coach David Cutcliffe to Ole Miss, where he spent six years coaching quarterbacks and was the passing game coordinator during his final three seasons.
In 2005, Roper served as Kentucky’s quarterbacks coach before serving as running backs coach at Tennessee in 2006 and 2007.
Duke beat writer Laura Keely of the Raleigh News and Observer and CBS’s Bruce Feldman later confirmed ESPN’s report.
Brent Pease was removed as offensive coordinator at Florida on Dec. 1. The Gators ranked 100th in offensive S&P, according to Football Outsiders, and averaged just 18.8 points per game, good for 114th in the country. While injuries played a large part in Florida’s awful 2013, that excuse can only go so far. Even with second- and third-string players, there’s an expectation that it should’ve been able to beat teams like Georgia Southern and/or get to six wins.
Roper was able to get a lot out of a Duke team that is used to lesser talent. The Blue Devils averaged more than 31 points per game and ran some innovative schemes offensively, including going with a two-quarterback system to maximize its personnel. He’s got his work cut out for him at Florida, though, as Will Muschamp’s seat continues to get hotter.